I was going to post this on Saturday, but I never got around to it. So here it is on a quieter day.
Quite an interesting stir in the independent comic book world. The creators of Elfquest, Wendy and Richard Pini, have decided to put every single issue up on their website–henceforth to be called the Digital Elfquest.
What is Elfquest? It’s a comic that started in 1978 about Cutter, the chief of a tribe of elves who are burned out of their home. In leading them to a new home, they meet a new tribe of elves including Leetah, their healer. From there spins a tale of adventure, romance, discovery, and danger as Cutter seeks to reunite all the elves scattered across the World of Two Moons.
When I first heard of Elfquest, I was in high school, where I saw a poster of the dancing elves in a classroom. I wasn’t into comic books–I always thought they were drawn too macho and muscular. But Pini’s style was more flowing, a style that I wouldn’t see until years later when I picked up my first anime manga. It wasn’t until I entered college that I got the nerve to buy the first graphic novel. Then the second. And the third (which took place the day after I bought the second since it ended on a cliffhanger…)
What really intrigued me about Elfquest was Leetah. This was the first time I saw in gorgeous, detailed print, a woman with dark skin. The romance between her and pale-skinned, blue eye Cutter drew me in, truly captured my imagination. Pini had a wonderful way of depicting their courtship and bonding with each other and their two twin children. But it was the story itself that truly engaged me, how Cutter and Leetah dealt with rivals, evil elves, quests for the elves’ birthplace, and a gradual, grudging relationship between the humans.
So I’m pretty stoked to hear that the Pinis have decided to put every single issue of Elfquest online–for free. I have all of the main graphic novels up to The Kings of the Broken Wheel , and some of the shorter novels that carry on the main storyline. I also have a whole bunch of comics, though the collection is far from complete. It’s wonderful to learn that I can finally read the end to some of those storylines–granted, at this point, the Pinis had brought in other artists to draw the story, but once you get used to the styles, the stories are just as compelling.
So I urge you to get on over to Elfquest.com and check out the whole story. The Pinis will be uploading an issue each Friday as part of their 30th Anniversary Celebration. You can view them at http://www.elfquest.com/gallery/OnlineComics3.html. Just a note for those with kids–although these are comics, there are some adult themes that run occasionally through the storyline. They are few and far between, but keep in mind these are not kiddie comics. I’m not going to let Daniel read them until he’s at least thirteen or fourteen…there’s some things in there that would be great for discussion for teens, like war and friendship. In fact, I can do a whole post on the different themes in Elfquest, but I’ll let you decide for yourself before you decide to let little Timmy read over your shoulder.
In other news, I stumbled upon a review for Crowntree! It’s my very first review, ever, and I think that it’s good. Check it out at the Fix’s website . I know there are other websites that review short stories in print, but this is the first one I seen review short stories online. I’m quite pleased to see it up, and I’ll be visiting it regularly to check out other writers’ short works.